|Project by Tom Huntley||posted 03-09-2011 05:30 PM||4061 views||48 times favorited||12 comments|
OK, this one took three tries before I got what I wanted. And…it has turned out to be well worth the effort!
I have a problem with many sled type jigs, because tightening the clamps often distorts the jig, thereby compromizing accuracy and consistency. I like the idea of a push clamp because the forces can be more closely alligned along the length of the sled, meaning that it will ride flatter on the cutting tool surface. Initially, I tried different methods of moving the push clamp, and it was a pain in the butt! Then the idea of moving the jaws , and leaving the clamp fixed hit me. Eureka! A solution. Later, I had to get the pushing force of the rubber bumper lower to the sled, so it would hit more squarely in the middle of 3/4” stock. Notice the wedges located under the back side of the push-clamp mount. After that, I decided I wanted to hold a runner backer in place when making doors, and a second clamp (removable Incra clamp in photo) was added. Fini
The pictures should tell the story, but here’s how it works. Position the jig in the miter rail and loosen the jaw clamps. Insert your stock and close the clamps. Now depress the toggle until the arm is at around 2 o’clock. This will open the jaws slightly to the clamping position. Tighten the jaw clamps, and close down the toggle the rest of the way. (At least this is how I do it in order to quickly achieve the clamping pressure I want.) When I make doors, I cut the runner backer first, which also results in alligning the jig perfectly for subsequent cuts. The backer stays in place under the incra clamp, and the push clamp is used for multiple runner cuts. This is my favorite feature on this jig.
Sometimes, I turn the whole thing around and use it on my table saw. When I do that, I close the jaws tightly on the wood, and do not use the push clamp, since the rubber would be the only thing bucking the saw blade. So, I tighten the jaws, turn the knobs, tighten the Incra clamp, and make my cut. Simple! Great for small pieces too!
If you make one of these, and I think you will really like it, experience has taught me two things. Make sure the miter rail, sled edges, and jaws are as close to perfect as you can make them. This will make the jig even more fun to use. Also, the slot for the hold down clamp is offset to allow the back side some surface to rest on. I trilled a 7/8” hole at the end of the slot so I wouldn’t have to dissassemble the jig to change the clamp. I have a smaller toggle clamp on an adpter I sometimes use.
Again, this design is part of my mission to irradicate digital disconnectomies from all of woodworking!
Best to you all. Tom (3:16)
-- Tom Huntley - Rochester Hills, Michigan